Wednesday, April 27

This Can't Be Good

We had a late afternoon play date on Monday at one of Doodles's friends from day care's house. Things went along beautifully except at one point, Doodles really wanted his phone. I never leave home without his phone because if I ever need to use mine, he can have his and I can talk in peace (his phone is identical to mine except, well, it's a dummy phone). So I got him his phone and he happily played with it for about ten minutes and then he set it on the table. His little friend, N., decided Doodles's phone looked intriguing and went to play with it. It was then that Doodles looked up and for the first time uttered--loudly and clearly--those dreadful words: "Mine! Mine! Mine!" The "terrible twos" are just four months away and I think I see them heading our way now.

What's Your Point?

After a hectic morning with Doodles, I took him with me to Whole Foods to shop for our Passover seder. I was happy, as he was quietly entertaining himself. As we were checking out, the bagger looked at Doodles and then looked at me and said, "Um, your child is eating his shoe." Sure enough, Doodles, as he's been wont to do lately, pulled off his shoe and had stuck it in his mouth. He'd chew a little and then take a nice lick of the bottom. "Yeah," I said, "he tends to do that." The bagger gave me this look--can't tell whether it was complete disapproval or horror--and it occurred to me that she expected me to do something about it. Um, I have a quiet child who isn't demanding "snacks! snacks!" or ordering "All done! All done!" Let him suck on his shoe all he wants. I don't comment on what you eat, after all.

Four Questions Asked by the Youngest

Why is this night different from all other nights?
On all other nights, we have just one toddler to wrangle. On this night, we have nine adults, six toddlers, and two babies to feed, get through the Haggadah, search for the afikomen (note to self: two year olds don't quite get the concept of searching for matzoh), and get out the door before Doodles's 7:15 p.m. bedtime.

Why do we eat only matzoh on Pesach?
We don't if our name is Doodles. In that case, the question is "Why do we only eat Goldfish, three meals a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year?" And why is it that matzoh, that looks and tastes pretty much exactly like a cracker, we won't touch?

Why do we eat maror, the bitter herbs?
Because trying to cook a seder dinner (matzoh ball soup, brisket, potato kugel, Israeli salad, matzoh crunch, berry melange) with a toddler under foot who refuses to nap is enough to make any grown woman cry as she demands for the twenty-third time, "Doodles! NO! The oven is not a toy! No touch!"

Why do we dip our foods twice tonight?
Twice? We dip our foods over and over and over again. And then we lick them. And then we examine them. And then we hide them under our booster seat and hope that Mom never finds them. And then we demand a cookie.

Why do we lean tonight?
Because, Doodles, you're heavy and I've got this parasite growing in my belly and my lower back is killing me and there's no way possible for me to straighten up.

Has anyone else noticed that technically there seem to be five questions? What's up with that?

Wednesday, April 20

Things We Probably Shouldn't Encourage

When Doodles learns a new word, he says it over and over. It makes him happy. It makes us happy. Everyone loves new words.

I also know that there are certain things that we, as parents, should not be encouraging. And here the two clash. Because Doodles has learned a new word that he adores saying: fire truck. Only, he has some problems with the pronunciation. To be more specific, he says "fire truck" but he can't pronounce the i-r-e-t-r. He has a fire truck flashcard. He has a Little People fire truck. He has a fire truck bathtub toy. Oh so many opportunities to utter this lovely word.

And I simply can't help myself. "Doodles!" I say. "What is this?" as I hold up any fire truck I can find, just to hear my little guy exclaim with glee, "F*uck! F*uck!" It's an afternoon's worth of enjoyment for me (hey, we stay-at-home moms have to get our fun where we can!).

So cute. And I just know it's going to come back to bite me in the ass. Oops. I mean tushie.

So Sad

Our mother's helper is on school vacation week, so this week's blog is being brought to you by the letter "J" and the number 9.

--We're having a really tough time coming up with a name for the baby. Oh, we're pretty much decided on what her name will be post-utero. What we're struggling with is her in-utero name. Doodles was so obviously and completely a Brown Brown and it flowed naturally. Deucette doesn't flow. Neither do any of the other names we've chosen. Through one of those long succession of this name leads to that name, I started calling her Bubbles, which I actually really liked. But the minute Doodles heard "Bubbles," he became overly excited, shouting out, "Bubbles! Bubbles!" It took much consternation on his part before I realized, "Oh, he wants me to blow bubbles." Since I refuse to blow bubbles every time I mention the name of his sister, that's out. So for now, our little blob is nameless. So sad.

--Doodles has a doll. Now that I'm showing, I went to Toys R Us and picked him out a baby doll. I saw one I really liked, complete with pacifier, bib, bottle and whatnot. And then I saw the price tag. $49.95. For a lousy hunk of plastic? Luckily, if you dig deep enough down on the shelves, you can find the no-frills $9.95 doll, which is what Doodles ended up with. He occasionally likes to cuddle the baby and once or twice has given her a kiss, but she's nowhere near as fascinating as his own belly button.

--Speaking of pink, someone in town was giving some toys away, and I went to get some. She had a nice pink tricycle and she said, "Oh, it's pink. You wouldn't be interested in that." I said, "Well, Doodles doesn't know the difference [and if you ask him the color of anything right now, he'll say "red" no matter what the color] and if it makes you feel better, the next one will be a girl." But it struck me as odd that in this day an age anyone would even care anymore about that pink/blue thing.

--While I was in Toys R Us, I noticed that they were having a sale on sundresses. There were some really cute sundresses. I was totally tempted to buy a whole bunch of them because, you know, by next summer, sundresses may not exist anymore and then my poor unnamed daughter will not only be unnamed, she'll be naked too. So sad. I was able to refrain, though. I've only bought one flowered onesie at Costco, and that was simply to try and get me into the mind set of "girl." Didn't work.

--I started chatting with a mom on the street, and she asked me, "When are you due?" There was a rather uncomfortable pause as I tried to figure out what the hell she was talking about. Finally, it clicked. "Oh, September 3." Amazing how I can not only forget I'm pregnant but when I do remember, forget that I have this big belly that advertises to the world that I am indeed with child. Hope I remember by the time she is born, because otherwise she'll be unnamed, naked, and left behind at the mall by the mother who forgot about her. So truly sad.

Wednesday, April 13

Youth Is Wasted...

All those years, if only I had known. Growing up, I always thought that parents were in charge. Now I understand. It's the kids with all the control. Think of all I could have gotten away with....

Think Pink

It's official. The Deuce is now the Deucette. I'm sure she's going to be payback for my own teenage years. Better start investigating reform schools now....

Talk to Your Kids!

I tried having a serious conversation with Doodles (link from Claire), but it didn't quite work:

Doodles, some guys go out for a good time over the weekend, and end up with thousands of dollars taken out of their paychecks for the next 18 years. Do you know how that could happen?

He just sucked his finger, smiled, and said, "Cereal!" I'm not sure he got the point.

Is It That Time of Year Already?

I got the following e-mail from my darling husband on Monday. You know, last Monday? The day he gleefully roughhoused with Doodles exclaiming, "You know what day it is! You know what day it is!" (Don't worry: I didn't know what day it was either.) Anyway, the e-mail read:

"I set up Replay to tape the pre-game ceremony at 2pm on NESN [New England Sports Network] but I forgot to tape the pre-pre-game-show at 1pm."

Um, hello? We now have five full hours Replayed of Red Sox opening day. Oh thank God baseball season is back. Anyone out there want to do something for the next, oh six months? I'll be free. Let the games begin.

Wednesday, April 6

Can You Say Baby Brain?

Every week after our music class, Doodles and I go to our local hangout with a group of moms/toddlers. I almost always get myself something to drink and, now that my appetite has shot through the roof, an egg-and-cheese croissant sandwich. I got my order, plopped myself down on the couch while Doodles roamed and played with his friends. After a bit, he asked, "Up, please," so I sat him next to me on the couch. Doodles loves drinking from straws. I had my drink resting on my leg, and that icy goodness had a pretty straw in it, so Doodles pulled my drink toward him. I'm a fairly nice mom, willing to share my cookies or my juice or water, so I helped him out, moving the straw toward his mouth, continuing my conversation with the mom sitting next to me. Doodles happily sipped away and it wasn't until I saw the look of horror on another mom's face that I realized what I was doing. I was letting Doodles have my drink. Of iced coffee. Whoops! I pulled it away, much to his distress, and appeased him with a cup of milk with a straw (which he doesn't normally get at that hour), but still I was greatly disturbed at how much my nineteen-month-old son seemed to delight in the taste of coffee. Tomorrow I'm thinking about letting him take a drag off a cigarette.

Ishes Are for Babies

While I love that Doodles vocabulary is expanding at a rapid pace, I'm a little sad that he no longer says "ishes" but now says "fish." This was proven this past weekend when I took him to the Mystic Aquarium. Once a year, my former college roommate, Jax, and I meet up at Foxwoods for a day. But if you know Jax, then you know that once a year is not enough of a fix. Jax is a hoot, and I wish she lived closer so we could pal around more often (although she's a terrible influence on me, so Adam should be just as happy she's four hours away). So we decided to meet halfway in between us at the aquarium with our kids. Jax has two adorable girls, four and six, whom I had never met. That's the thing with meeting at casinos. It's generally frowned upon to bring your children. Frankly, I can't think of a better way to teach a kid to add than to set him at the blackjack table, but then, that's just the kind of mom I am.

The aquarium certainly lived up to its reputation, and I would recommend it to anyone who lives in the New England area. Trying to have a no-holds-barred conversation with a buddy with three kids in tow, however, I would not recommend. We'd whisper little things to each other over the tops of the kids heads as Jax answered thirty million questions from her kids ("Hmm, I don't know why the sting ray has such a long tail"; "That's a great question. I wonder how that 800-pound sea lion moves around so quickly") and I chased Doodles as he ran from tank to tank, excitedly pointing and shouting, "Fish! Fish!" He'd get to one fish and suddenly realize there were even more fish right next to him, and each fish was a wonderful, exciting new discovery.

Seeing Jax with kids was definitely odd. I mean, I knew she had them. I'd seen pictures, heard stories. But to actually see my out-of-control college roommate acting as a responsible, loving mother was kind of mind blowing. It made me feel, well, old. I mean, if Jax grew up, then there's no hope for the rest of us. Maturity is inevitable. Luckily, we'll always have our trips to Foxwoods to insure that there's still some of the kid left in us. Nothing a martini and a stack of chips won't cure.